In the Implementation of California Anti-Trafficking Law, Government to Leave Most Migrant Workers Unprotected

Migration research cluster

Today, migrant worker leaders, advocates, and experts will appear at a hearing before the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) to demand that the California Labor Commissioner protect internationally recruited workers from recruitment abuses and human trafficking. 

The Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), the bill's original sponsor, and Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM) are extremely concerned that out of the 130,000 temporary workers it believed this bill was intended to protect, DLSE's interpretation in the draft regulations in fact would cover only 2.3 percent, or less than 3000 workers. SB 477 is a groundbreaking law for curbing the abuse and exploitation of migrant workers by requiring international labor recruiters to register before bringing workers to California, a top destination of internationally recruited workers with 17 percent of all temporary workers in the United States. Passed in 2014, the law also bans recruiters from charging workers recruitment fees, requires that workers be given a contract at the time of recruitment, and prohibits discrimination and retaliation in recruitment in the state of California.

Internationally recruited workers face common patterns of abuse related to their recruitment, including fraud, discrimination, economic coercion, retaliation, blacklisting, and, in some cases forced labor, debt bondage and human trafficking, regardless of visa category, employment sector, race, gender, or national origin.

Supporting organizations
Filipino Bar Association of Northern California (FBANC)
Migrante Napa Solano 707
Migrante Northern San Mateo County (Migrante NSMC)
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) - Greater Sacramento
National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) - Northern California
Pilipino Association of Workers and Immigrants (PAWIS) - Silicon Valley

Media Contact 
Evy Peña
Centro de los Derechos del Migrante, Inc. (CDM)
From Mexico: 01-800-590-1773;
From the US: 1-855-234-9699 (evy@cdmigrante.org)

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